Don’t Forget the Flats

Expanding upon my adventuring-into-NYC theme from last week, clearly, I prefer to get around on foot. Sure, weather can be a factor, or time, but as long as it’s somewhat feasible, walking the city streets can be one of the more enjoyable aspects of exploring Manhattan. Assuming, that is, you have the proper footwear.

Do I speak from personal experience? Why, of course I do. 

This past autumn, my friend and I – both former dancers – decided to buy tickets to the NYC Ballet. It would be our very first time seeing such a professional-scale performance; plus it was a great excuse to spend the day roaming the city. We (somewhat) mapped out our excursions, deciding we would walk from Penn Station all the way up to Lincoln Center, meandering off-route periodically. 

The day was unseasonably warm for late September (like, approaching 90º warm), but we forged ahead with our plan to brave the elements. The main stop I wanted to make was to Central Park, in the vicinity of Strawberry Fields. For those unfamiliar, that’s a solid 35 blocks. Not a problem, at first. 

The issue, one that we had failed to appropriately navigate, was getting through the park without traveling, oh, about 27 miles out of the way. That was the moment when my decision to wear heels really kicked in as the wrong choice. Pavement was one thing; rolling hills and dirt paths quite another. 

Let’s just sum up the experience by stating that, after wandering aimlessly for hours, stopping to rest at literally every single park bench we passed, I was in dire need of a shoe substitute. With our show at Lincoln Center fast approaching, we desperately scanned the stores as we made our way south. 

Finally, I spotted a Duane Reade. They sell flip-flops, don’t they? Well, yes, they do. However, unless you have size 11 feet, they won’t do you much good. Desperately, I searched the racks for something, anything else that would fulfill my purpose – which, at this point, was not being forced to walk barefoot down the city sidewalks. 

Just when I had given up hope, there they were – a pair of size 9 (I’m a size 7) ballet slipper flats. Sold. And so off we went to Lincoln Center, shoes in hand. Classy. 

I found myself reflecting upon this fond memory as I prepared for yet another city trip, to yet another ballet performance at Lincoln Center, with the same friend, over the Fourth of July weekend. Plans were mapped out accordingly, including a detour into Central Park.


{Published: July 8th, 2015}

Jamie Lynn RyanComment